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Showing posts from March, 2010

Stereokiller: Ufomammut

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Ufomammut Eve Supernatural Cat Records Released: 5.5.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Sunn O))) + Boris = ALTAR

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From Earsplit PR : Southern Lord Recording Artists SUNN O))) and BORIS will unite to perform as ALTAR -- as heard on their 2006 Altar full-length -- at the third annual All Tomorrow's Parties Festival in Monticello, New York. A varied barrage of of acts are confirmed to perform at this outdoor extravaganza in addition to ALTAR, including Iggy & The Stooges [performing Raw Power ], Sleep [performing Holy Mountain ], Sonic Youth , Mudhoney , Tortise , Brian Jonestown Massacre , Raekwon , Explosions In The Sky and more. ALTAR's performance shall take the headlining slot for Sunday, September 5th, the full day curated by legendary filmmaker Jim Jarmusch , who included selections from the Altar album and other Southern Lord artists in his 2009 film The Limits of Control . Altar is, admittedly, the album that got me to appreciate SunnO))). Seeing this line-up and knowing that SunnO))) and Boris will be joining forces makes me wish I'd moved to New York. M

What I Heard This Morning: Frog Eyes

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Carey Mercer 's Frog Eyes are releasing their newest album, Paul's Tomb: A Triumph in late April. "Flower In A Glove" and "Lear In Love" are both lengthy and fuzz-rhythmic, Mercer's cries some distant cousin of Bowie 's glamorous affect. There's remarkably unfinished or disassembled going on Frog Eyes, which I find both fascinating and frustrating, elated though impatient to get to the finish line. "Flower In A Glove" "Lear In Love" From the press release: 05/22/10 Seattle, WA - Crocodile Cafe w/ Plants and Animals 05/23/10 Portland, OR - Holocene* 05/25/10 Santa Cruz, CA - The Crepe Place* 05/27/10 San Diego, CA - The Casbah* 05/28/10 Los Angeles, CA - Echo* 05/29/10 San Francisco, CA - The Hemlock Tavern* 06/10/10 Minneapolis, MN - 7th Street Entry # 06/11/10 Madison, WI - The Frequency # 06/12/10 Chicago, IL - Schubas Tavern # 06/13/10 Pontiac, MI - The Pike Room at Crofoot Ballroom # 06/15/10 Toronto, ON - Mu

No Ripcord: High On Fire

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High On Fire Snakes For The Divine E1 Music Released: 2.23.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

A Storm Of Light: Tempest

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So, this is sort of a "check out this song/any drummers in the house?" sort of entry. One of the unfortunate casualties of last year, as in "one of the albums I didn't get to wax over typewriter-like due to an overabundance of shit to do," was A Storm Of Light 's Forgive Us Our Trespasses . Almost opera-like in its execution, there are a lot of great things going on in this album. Why does this band come up now? Well, they're looking for a drummer. From the press release: "In just over two years since the band's inception, A STORM OF LIGHT has had the honor and privilege of playing with many great drummers: Vinny Signorelli , Jason Roeder , Pete Angevine etc. While this band is built around revolving members both in touring and recording, we've decided that a central three-piece will make us sonically/rhythmically stronger. That said, we have decided to look for a permanent drummer, one that can make STORM their primary focus, and

4.17.10: Words from Josh Homme...

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My brother was nice enough to send me a text message about this hilarious video from Josh Homme , this year's Record Store Day Ambassador . Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Massive Attack: Saturday Comes Slow (featurning Damon Alburn)

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This may be a bit controversial for some because there's really no way to avoid provoking a rabid response when it comes to the issue of interrogational torture as it's both a political and ethical issue. Massive Attack 's newest single, "Saturday Comes Slow," was used as part of a short film featuring a former Guantanamo detainee by the name of Ruhal Ahmed . The video was filmed in Cambridge University's anechoic chamber by photographers Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin , and mostly centers around the usage of sound and its physical effects on the human body. This is relevant to Ahmed, because the methodology employed during his captivity was to subject him to loud music at high volume. Just to be clear, as a music-centered resource, I'm not in any way taking position on the pros and cons of this issue. I simply found the film interesting and its involvement with a popular music group makes it relevant to this site's scope of content.

Tahiti Boy & The Palmtree Family: Blood In Your Eyes & Brooklyn

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If pop music can attempt to maintain some semblance of artistic control or be accessible without giving up integrity, I can deal with it. Tall order, I'm aware, but pop music really has no credibility these days, and anything resembling "pop" in terms of structure or presentation typically gets lumped into some other categorical safe haven to prevent bands from being misunderstood. (I.E. If you're going to make pop music, it better be "indie pop.") You can blame the state of things musically for the necessity of "subgenre reinforcement." Still, it hasn't prevented bands like Phoenix , jj or The xx from attempting to preserve pop sensibilities while shoving it in the faces of snobs like myself. Tahiti Boy & The Palmtree Family are another pop act that's either joyously upbeat or joyously expressive, but interesting. The word "gem" is applied to a lot of their songs, and appropriately so. About a year ago, I post

What I Heard This Morning: Ancestors

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It could just be that this was the sort of rock I needed to hear today. It could just be the riffs are right, that the energy is there. Psych rockers, Ancestors , are touring with Tee Pee labelmates, Night Horse , stopping off at the Roadburn Festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. "Antler Wings," which was released last year on a split 7," isn't anything you haven't heard before. But, it's an invigorating listen filled with all the scorching Sabbath y, Crimson ish, stoner-fueled blues and power sludge intoxicants you can cram into one song. Decibel Magazine is hosting the track . Photo courtesy of Tee Pee Records Per the press release: 4.9.10 — Essen, Germany — Cafe Nova 4.10.10 — Arlon, Belgium — L' Entrepot 4.11.10 — Fidenza, Italy — Circolo Arci Q 4.13.10 — Wien, Austria — Arena 4.14.10 — Munich, Germany — Sunny Red 4.15.10 — Tilburg, Netherlands — Roadburn Festival 4.16.10 — London, UK — South Of The Border 4.17.10 — Plymouth, UK —

Stereokiller: Locrian

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Locrian Territories Basses Frequences/Bloodlust!/Small Doses/At War With False Noise Released: 3.2.10 Stereokiller review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Golden Triangle

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Golden Triangle Double Jointer Hardly Art Released: 3.2.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

4.17.10: Here's What To Expect...

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Because I am of meager means and am in no way capable of supplying a complete list of Record Store Day releases, the good people at recordstoreday.com were nice enough to do it for all of us. You can find the list here . A white label Beastie Boys 12," vinyl release of Deerhoof 's Apple O , vinyl reissues of Mastodon 's Blood Mountain , vinyl reissues of Pantera 's first three albums, an 11th anniversary vinyl reissue of Tom Waits ' Mule Variations ... there's some really good stuff coming out this year. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Alex Chilton (1950-2010)

Alex Chilton has passed on. In the words of a good friend: "That's depressing news. Well maybe he can patch things up with Chris Bell now. Also, Elton John continues to rage along. Unacceptable." R.I.P. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Exploding In Sound — Glorious Noise

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With what may be my favorite of Mr. Goldin’s compilations, he expounds: The future is now… we have officially landed with our feet on the ground in 2010. It’s a new year, a new decade, and the time for you to discover your new favorite band has arrived. Allow Exploding In Sound to be your guide, as we are extraordinarily proud to release the brand new, exclusive compilation… GLORIOUS NOISE , now available for FREE DOWNLOAD ! Glorious Noise is a true exploration of rock music, with a sound so massive you need to hear it to believe. After an incredible first year of releasing compilations, I can honestly say that I feel this is best release yet. The album features 20 incredible appearances from Traindodge , Mr. Gnome , LIONS , Regular John , Disco Doom , And So I Watch You From Afar , White Belt Yellow Tag , Turbo Fruits , Ceremony , Apteka , Battleme , Postdata , and more!! Scouring the globe… and the internet… for the greatest bands that need to be heard, Glorious Noise is an int

On Pause... (kind of)

Due to some unfortunate computer issues, Letters From A Tapehead updates will be, at best, sporadic. Well, okay, MORE sporadic. I'm working on maybe five reviews right now and a couple other writing projects, so I hope to have them all finished and posted soon. I appreciate your patience and loyalty. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Shopping For Records #25: Raw Power (Unveiled)

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Raw Power ? Yeah, Raw Power . I can't imagine a bigger or more important reissue to be hitting the shelves this year. What little would exist without the brutality, energy or pure sexuality of Iggy & The Stooges ' brilliant Raw Power ? Those who've listened understand. Those who haven't listened need to so they can understand. Those who've listened and don't understand... well, you're a lost cause. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Mondo Cane: Mike Patton Meets Italian Opera...

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Photo courtesy of Speakeasy PR From Speakeasy PR : Mike Patton ( Faith No More , Peeping Tom , Tomahawk ) unveils Mondo Cane , his Italian language rock-meets-orchestra hybrid, on May 4 via Ipecac Recordings . Recorded at a series of European performances including an outdoor concert in a Northern Italian piazza, the self-titled album features traditional Italian pop songs as well as a rendition of Ennio Morricone’s “Deep Down.” Patton worked with a 30-piece orchestra and choir to create the uniquely new Mondo Cane sound. Patton’s body of work continues to evolve and grow with a wide range of bands and solo projects including Mr. Bungle , Faith No More , Fantômas , Tomahawk , Peeping Tom and most recently as a film composer and voice actor. The track listing for Mike Patton’s Mondo Cane: 1. Il Cielo In Una Stanza 2. Che Notte! 3. Ore D’Amore 4. Deep Down 5. Quello Che Conta 6. Urlo Negro 7. Scalinatella 8. L’Uomo Che Non Sapeva Amare 9. 20 KM Al Giorno 10. Ti Offro Da Be

Dome: Cruel When Complete & Red Tent 1 & 2

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When Wire broke up around 1980, their FIRST collapse after releasing a rock solid three-album treatise on what punk rock was and where it was going, members Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lewis worked together for a few years as Dome . Dome 1&2 is currently available through Mute Records/The Grey Area, though I got my copy through a merchant online. The album features this haunting beauty of a song entitled, “Cruel When Complete,” (sung by Wire co-conspirator, Angela Conway ), which is probably the album’s best-known and most accessible moment. Most of the album is admittedly hard-to-swallow, as Gilbert and Lewis cut and paste found sounds, (probably the most appropriately titled track on the album is “Ampnoise,” which sums it up perfectly), experiment with studio capabilities and try and find the extent to which they can abuse their instruments in an interesting way. “Red Tent 1 & 2” demonstrates the album’s vision by juxtaposing their ambient noise experiments with a buzz

The Melvins: The Bride Screamed Murder

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It’s been twenty-five years of The Melvins . Holy shit. Their new album, The Bride Screamed Murder , will be out June 1st from Ipecac Recordings and a tour is in the works. They’ll be on the road with Isis and Totimoshi . From the press release: Tour dates: June 1 — San Diego, CA — Casbah June 2 — Tempe, AZ — The Clubhouse June 3 — Albuquerque, NM — The Launchpad June 5 — Austin, TX — Emo's June 7 — Houston, TX — Warehouse Live June 8 — Baton Rouge, LA — Spanish Moon June 9 — New Orleans, LA — One Eyed Jacks June 10 — Birmingham, AL — Bottle Tree June 12 — Manchester, TN — Bonnaroo Festival ** June 14 — Athens, GA — 40 Watt Club * June 16 — Washington, DC — 9:30 Club * June 17 — Philadelphia, PA — TLA * June 18 — New York, NY — Webster Hall * June 19 — Brooklyn, NY — Music Hall of Williamsburg * June 20 — Boston, MA — Paradise * June 21 — Boston, MA — Paradise * June 23 — Cleveland, OH — Grog Shop June 24 — Detroit, MI — Small's June 25 — Chicago, IL — Double Door Jun

No Ripcord: Interview with Avi Buffalo

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Avi Buffalo Rogue Wave The First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia Philadelphia, PA 3.4.10 Photo by Jeff Antebi No Ripcord interview Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

What I Heard This Morning: Minus The Bear

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Minus The Bear , having just signed to Dangerhouse Records, are releasing their new album, OMNI , on May 4th. "My Time" is the first single off the album, and it has this synth-pop Steely Dan motif that's unexpected. You can find the track at omnithealbum.com . The band will be touring in support of OMNI as of April 21st. In the meantime, they'll be attending SXSW: 3.18 Austin, TX - Cedar Street Courtyard (FILTER Party) 3.19 Austin, TX - Antone's (Relix Day Party) 3.19 Austin, TX - Rusty Spurs (The MuseBox Show) 3.20 Austin, TX - Stubb's (Official SXSW Showcase) Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Mark Linkous: 1962-2010

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From Sparklehorse.com : From the Linkous Family: "It is with great sadness that we share the news that our dear friend and family member, Mark Linkous , took his own life today. We are thankful for his time with us and will hold him forever in our hearts. May his journey be peaceful, happy and free. There’s a heaven and there’s a star for you." - March 6, 2010 From Radiohead 's Colin Greenwood : I was very sad to hear the news that Mark Linkous has died. He and his band toured with us in Europe, at the start of OK Computer , and they were great every night. His first two records were very important to me, and I carried his music from the tour into my life, and my friends’ lives too. He was softly spoken, with an Old South courtesy I hadn’t heard before: he introduced me to Daniel Johnston ’s music, and the West Virginian writing of Pinckney Benedict . Mark wrote and played some beautiful music, and we’re lucky to have it. Rest in Peace." I don't know if

4.17.10: Ear X-Tacy...

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In 2006, my now-wife and I were given tickets to see Tom Waits during the Orphans tour as a wedding gift from our friends, Jim and Neen . The closest Waits was coming that year to the east coast, was Louisville, Kentucky. We traveled there and had only a day or two to experience Louisville before either heading to the show, or heading home, so we made the most of it. We looked into Deadhead clothing stores, a giant book mart, a hole-in-the-wall record store... It was as if every 60s radical settled into this cozy little town and made a living off of counterculture and art. It appealed to me like you wouldn’t believe, despite my allegiance to the city of Philadelphia. There was a general warmth to Louisville that resonated deeply, even though we realized every subsequent trip we might take there in the future wouldn’t compare, our first Tom Waits show to look forward to and our childless selves still able to revel in spontaneity. The day after the show, before we were to le

4.17.10: John Lennon & The Sex Pistols

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From the EMI blog : On Record Store Day in the U.S. (April 17th), EMI Music will release limited edition John Lennon and Sex Pistols vinyl packages to be sold exclusively by participating independent music retailers across the U.S. They include John Lennon Singles Bag (limited edition), (Capitol/EMI); Individually numbered Kraftpak envelope with button & string closure; custom plastic adaptor hub. 24” x 36” poster + three postcards and three 45 RPM vinyl singles with replicated original artwork. Includes such tracks as “Mother,” “Imagine,” and “Watching the Wheels.” Also available, Sex Pistols: The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle (limited edition),(Virgin/EMI); 180g double LP, gatefold. Among the 24 tracks are “God Save the Queen (Symphony),” ”Anarchy in the UK,” “(I’m Not Your) Stepping Stone,” “L’Anarchi Pour Le UK” and “The Great Rock ‘N’ Roll Swindle.” The Rock Radio had more information about the Lennon 45s: "Mother" b/w Yoko Ono — "Why" (19

The Splinters: Mysterious

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As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently loving the raft of 60s girl pop that I’ve been listening to lately. What I’m hoping, is that some asshole somewhere doesn’t think this has something to do with Hollywood’s Runaways biopic. Couldn’t they cast someone with a pulse to play Joan Jett ? Someone that doesn’t make a career out of sulking, that actually possesses some of Jett’s rock flair? Whatever... The Splinters will be releasing their new album, Kick , next week. In the meantime, here’s a video for their single, “Mysterious.” There is absolutely no dialogue for the band to memorize, but they’re still better at acting than Kristen Stewart . The Splinters - "Mysterious" (Music Video) from The Splinters on Vimeo . TOUR DATES 3.4.10 — Amnesia, San Francisco, CA (record release party) with Hunx and His Punkettes and Magic Bullets 3.17.10 — Red 7, Austin, TX (Terrorbird/Forcefield SXSW day party) w/ Neon Indian , Matias Aguayo , Real Estate , Oh No Ono , and mo

4.17.10: Soundgarden’s “Hunted Down”/”Nothing To Say” 7”

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Sub Pop will be re-releasing Soundgarden ’s debut 7,” “Hunted Down”/”Nothing To Say,” for Record Store Day , which is quickly approaching. The album will be limited edition orange vinyl, so here’s another shopping essential. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

Guru in recovery...

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Yesterday, it was reported that Gang Starr ’s Guru had fallen into a coma after having a heart attack. Today, Gang Starr’s sound component, the inimitable DJ Premier , claimed that Guru was in recovery after a successful surgery . Good news for all the Gang Starr fans out there, though his coma persists. In 1993, Guru put out the first volume of Jazzmatazz , a project he referred to as “an experimental fusion of hip-hop and live jazz.” As I’ve always been a sucker for the jazz-hop hybrid, Guru’s album is smooth, soulful and, above all, respectful. As far as hip-hop from the old school, or more accurately, hip-hop’s golden age of the early 90s, it’s one of the best albums from the era. Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal... Hope you’re back with us soon. Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead

No Ripcord: Zu

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Zu The Way of the Animal Powers (Reissue) Public Guilt Released: 3.16.10 No Ripcord review Sincerely, Letters From A Tapehead